Leonardo has decided to end his term at Milan as he handed in his resignation today, which the club accepted.
Leo arrived to the club last summer after the Elliott takeover and the collapse of the Chinese, but he will not be managing the sporting side of the club any longer.
“Leonardo Nascimento de Araujo (Leonardo) has today informed Milan of his decision to resign from his position of the club’s Sporting Director with immediate effect. Milan has accepted his resignation,” a statement on the Rossoneri’s website reads on Tuesday evening.
“The club wishes to thank Leonardo for his important contributions in helping to take the club forward into in a new era and wishes him all the best for his future career. The Brazilian manager was appointed as Sporting Director in July 2018, overseeing market activities during his time with the club. An announcement on the appointment of a new Sporting Director will be made in due course.
“Ivan Gazidis, CEO of Milan, said: ‘Leonardo joined Milan in its hour of need a few short weeks before the closing of the summer transfer window. Under very difficult circumstances he put his heart and soul into addressing a highly complicated situation and transmitting his energy and his ambition to the team. I am very grateful to Leonardo for everything he has contributed to our great Club and wish him well in his future endeavors’.”
It is reported that Leonardo had a one-year contract with Milan for an option to extend for two more years. After the failure to reach the Champions League, the former midfielder decided to pack his bags and leave. A key contributor to his decision, according to the media, is differences with Gazidis over the project: the CEO, representing the desire of Elliott, wants a team made up almost entirely of young players, while Leo wanted to add experienced players to the core of the team.
It remains to be seen who will replace Leonardo at Milan. There are talks about Lille’s Luis Campos but it’s almost certain that he will not take the role of director of sport but could act as an external mercato consultant. A promotion for Paolo Maldini – who is thinking about his future as well – is possible, but the name of Lazio’s Igli Tare is also being mentioned by different outlets.
In his short tenure as director of sport, Leonardo managed to sign Mattia Caldara, Gonzalo Higuain, Tiémoué Bakayoko, Diego Laxalt, Samu Castillejo, Lucas Paquetá and Krzysztof Piątek.